What can a church with 560 members do to impact its community?
In October 1997 four ladies in the Kelso-Longview Adventist church decided to find out by organizing a special event at Christmas time they could invite the community to attend. “Journey to Bethlehem” was born. Held the weekend after the first Saturday night each December over four evenings, people can come to the church for music provided by various Adventist and non-Adventist groups while waiting their turn to visit ‘Bethlehem,’ a one acre ‘village’ next to the church. During their twenty minute tour they experience village life in small town Palestine two thousand years ago and learn the story of Jesus’ birth.
This year, their 8th, there were 150 people in costume, many of them ‘pre-Adventists,’ and 256 groups of twenty five that took the tour. The whole town not only knows where the Adventist church is but has had a very positive experience there. This helps tremendously when Pastor Dave Livermore holds a public evangelistic series each January. For Gleaner articles about this event click on http://www.gleaneronline.org/issues/99/6/18720.html or http://www.gleaneronline.org/issues/99/11/23843.html.